Re: Some comments

From: Gilles HENRI <>
Date: Mon, 10 May 1999 14:40:31 +0200

>Gilles Henry wrote:
>>But a conscious being cannot exist without being
>>perturbated by its environment (in fact we are conscious BECAUSE we are
>>constantly interacting with our environment).
>This seems to me to be in contradiction with any standart
>account of the dream phenomenon.
>I just mean you cannot believe what you say here without being
>with computationnalism.

No , it's not inconsistent. What I claim is not that the origin of
consciousness can not be found in "computational" properties of the brain.
My claim is that a conscious computation is so tightly (and non-linearly)
linked to the environment that it will diverge from another computation
very quickly, as soon as this interaction really takes place. Of course
"very quickly" depends on how carefully you can control the input.
I agree that in the case of dream (which is a rather peculiar state of
consciousness) you could expect to reproduce it with another device. But it
is restricted to dreaming states, because just in these state the
interaction with the environment is very weak. However, I think you would
admit that we can have dream only because we have experienced an
interaction with the outer world in the past. An everlasting dream would be
more like a coma than a real conscious state. So it doesn't change my
conclusion : a conscious being, DEFINED by his capacity to have a
representation of the outer world+himself (in fact himself in a outer
world) can be realized only with a unique implementation.
Again I am not talking about the "theoretical" possibility of realizing
another implementation, but only about the practical one. This limitation
could seem to be rather immaterial, but I think it is a very important one
because it can be used to define what is consciousness, compared to other
computing processes. (I find it rather hard to find another good

Received on Mon May 10 1999 - 05:41:54 PDT

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